Overview - Masai Mara National Reserve

The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big Five.scenery is dominated by grassland savannah, but pockets of acacia woodland, riparian forest and rocky hills intersperse the plains. The Masai word 'Mara', meaning spotted, refers to these dots in the landscape.

  • Best Time To Go June to October
  • High Season July to March
  • Size 1510 square kilometres

Pros & Cons

The Mara National Reserve is home to over 1.5 million Wildebeests, thousands of Zebras, Hippopotami, Nile crocodiles, the rare Wide Rhinos, over 400 bird species among other animals and wild plantation. It is also hosts some of the country’s best hotels, has amazing airstrips and a great nomadic community.Some of thr pro's & cons of visiting Masai Mara Include:

Pros:

  • Excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year
  • Annual wildebeest migration (July to October)
  • Open savannah makes it easy wildlife viewing & Spotting
  • Wide variety of accommodation for different budgets
  • Alot of activities icluding Hot air balloon safaris

Cons:

  • The park gets busy, especially during high season
  • Access road is bad so a fly-in is recommended
  • Roads within the park can be in terrible condition, especially after heavy rain

Best Time to Visit

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya- Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland.

Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment.

The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 2 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.

There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve.

Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).

Wildlife

The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big 5, cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, zebra.During the migration (July to October) huge numbers of wildebeest move in.

Weather & Climate

Altitude 5,300 feet (1,600 metres). Rainy season from November through May, with peak rainfall in December-January and April-May. Dry season from June-November. Often sunny mornings with cloud build-up in the afternoons – during the rains this develops into thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Max temperatures up to 30°C and min temperatures around 20°C.

Dry season –June to September

The Dry season is an enjoyable time to be in the park with lovely weather. Typically, there are sunny days and it’s rarely very hot. Although the occasional shower can pepper the landscape, it doesn’t rain often. Don’t forget to pack winter clothing for early morning game drives.

  • June, July & August – There can be rain still around in June, but overall it is sunny and dry. Afternoon temperatures reach an agreeable 25°C/77°F, but the cold can hang around in the evenings and early mornings when temperatures of around 12°C/54°F are common.
  • September & October – Still a dry time of the year, although rain is possible some days. Temperatures increase slightly in October and hover around 27°C/81°F (and higher), before they decrease with the beginning of the rain. Chilly early mornings persist (around 12°C/54°F).

Wet season –November to May

Even though the Wet season stretches from November to May, there is a drier period in January and February. This divides the ‘short rains’ and ‘long rains’. There are many overcast, cloudy days. Afternoon showers are the norm. Daytime temperatures don’t vary much. The nippy early mornings have temperatures around 13°C/55°F. Bring warm clothing.

  • November & December – ‘Short rains’: The rains normally break at some point in November. Average afternoon temperatures are around 27°C/81°F.
  • January & February – Rainfall eases between the short and long rains, although showers do still occur. The exact timing of this drier period is somewhat challenging to predict.
  • March, April & May – ‘Long rains’: April is the wettest month. It doesn’t often shower all day, but rainfall is regular. Tracks might become slippery and difficult to navigate. Early mornings are a bit warmer – average temperatures are about 13°C/55°F.

 

Wild Life

  •   Occasional
  •   Common
  •   Very Rare
  •   Rare
  •   None
  • Giraffe

      Common
  • Elephant

      Common
  • Zebra

      Common
  • Hippo

      Common
  • Leopard

      Occasional
  • Buffalo

      Common
  • Hyena

      Common
  • Lion

      Common
  • Cheetah

      Common
  • White Rhino

      None
  • Black Rhino

      Occasional
  • Wildebeest

      Common
  • Wild Dog

      Rare

Wild Life

  •   Occasional
  •   Common
  •   Very Rare
  •   Rare
  •   None
  • Giraffe

      Common
  • Elephant

      Common
  • Zebra

      Common
  • Hippo

      Common
  • Leopard

      Occasional
  • Buffalo

      Common
  • Hyena

      Common
  • Lion

      Common
  • Cheetah

      Common
  • White Rhino

      None
  • Black Rhino

      Occasional
  • Wildebeest

      Common
  • Wild Dog

      Rare

Best time to Visit- Masai Mara National Reserve

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  •   Excellent
  •   Good
  •   Fair
  •   Poor

The Masai Mara offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the rainy months (March, April, November and December) make some of the roads difficult to navigate, and wildlife might be more difficult to spot. The driest months (from late June to October) are the best for wildlife viewing because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around rivers and water holes. The wildebeest migration and the river crossings in particular are difficult to time, but your best chance to witness this spectacle is in late September and October.

Best Time: June to October is best for general wildlife viewing and September to October are best for the wildebeest migration (Dry season)

High Season: June to October and December to March (It gets very crowded except in some remote areas)

Low Season: April and May (Some roads might be in bad condition and rain can sometimes interfere with your trip)

Best Weather: June to October (Days are sunny, but not too hot)

Worst Weather:March and April (Peak of the Wet season)

 

 
  • Best Time June to October & September to October
  • High Season June to October & December to March
  • Low Season April and May
  • Best Weather June to October (Minimal rainfall)
  • Worst Weather March and April (Wet Season)

Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya- Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland.

Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment.

The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.

The Masai Mara offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the rainy months (March, April, November and December) make some of the roads difficult to navigate, and wildlife might be more difficult to spot. The driest months (from late June to October) are the best for wildlife viewing because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around rivers and water holes. The wildebeest migration and the river crossings in particular are difficult to time, but your best chance to witness this spectacle is in late September and October.

Dry Season

June to September

The Dry season is an enjoyable time to be in the park with lovely weather. Typically, there are sunny days and it’s rarely very hot. Although the occasional shower can pepper the landscape, it doesn’t rain often. Don’t forget to pack winter clothing for early morning game drives.

  • June, July & August – There can be rain still around in June, but overall it is sunny and dry. Afternoon temperatures reach an agreeable 25°C/77°F, but the cold can hang around in the evenings and early mornings when temperatures of around 12°C/54°F are common.
  • September & October – Still a dry time of the year, although rain is possible some days. Temperatures increase slightly in October and hover around 27°C/81°F (and higher), before they decrease with the beginning of the rain. Chilly early mornings persist (around 12°C/54°F).

Wet Season

November to May

Even though the Wet season stretches from November to May, there is a drier period in January and February. This divides the ‘short rains’ and ‘long rains’. There are many overcast, cloudy days. Afternoon showers are the norm. Daytime temperatures don’t vary much. The nippy early mornings have temperatures around 13°C/55°F. Bring warm clothing.

  • November & December – ‘Short rains’: The rains normally break at some point in November. Average afternoon temperatures are around 27°C/81°F.
  • January & February – Rainfall eases between the short and long rains, although showers do still occur. The exact timing of this drier period is somewhat challenging to predict.
  • March, April & May – ‘Long rains’: April is the wettest month. It doesn’t often shower all day, but rainfall is regular. Tracks might become slippery and difficult to navigate. Early mornings are a bit warmer – average temperatures are about 13°C/55°F.

Masai Mara National Reserve

Safety:

The Masai Mara is a very safe park to visit, in our opinion. The developed parks and reserves in Kenya are usually considered safe and the Masai Mara is no exception. The park is the most visited and popular in Kenya and produces a lot of revenue. For that and other reasons, the government makes sure security is kept high. 

Most people fly to the park, which is not only the most comfortable, but also the safest way to travel. Self-drive visitors need to take caution when driving to the park. The road is very bad, and a breakdown is not out of the question. Although the distance (under 300km) isn’t that far, it is advised to leave Nairobi early in the morning.

Medical Requirements:

Several vaccinations are needed before coming to Kenya in general, and to a lesser extent the Masai Mara. Malaria is the biggest health concern for visitors to Kenya, and antimalarials should be taken. Using mosquito repellent with a minimum of 30% DEET and covering up at dusk is also highly recommended to minimize the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Weather And Climate

 

Altitude 5,300 feet (1,600 metres). Rainy season from November through May, with peak rainfall in December-January and April-May. Dry season from June-November. Often sunny mornings with cloud build-up in the afternoons – during the rains this develops into thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Max temperatures up to 30°C and min temperatures around 20°C.